The aftermath of Tuesday’s defections of 15 Senators might be spewing crisis in the Senate as Senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Tuesday afternoon insisted that they remained the majority despite defections that hit their fold.
Addressing Senate Press corps after an hour closed door meeting, Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan who was flanked by APC lawmakers in the upper chamber boasted that they were still in control of the red Chamber, saying that their numbers currently stands at 52.
Those who defected to the APC at various times in the past that made up the number of APC are Senator Sunny Ogbuji (Ebonyi South) Senator Hope Uzodinma Imo West), Senator Fatima Raji Rasaki (Ekiti West) , Senator Ovie-Omo-agege (Delta Central).
Buttressing their stand, Ahmed Lawan, before presenting a list of APC Senators to journalists, said, Senator Buruji Kashamu (PDP) representing Ogun East Senatorial District has been expelled from the party, hence, cannot be said to be a bonafide member of the party anymore.
This is contrary to the position of Senator Joshua Dariye (APC) representing Plateau South Senatorial district who was convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for fraud and money laundering.
Asked why Dariye was reflected as a member despite his conviction. He said: “He is on appeal and he cannot be removed yet.”
Though Saraki’s name was not on the APC list handed over to journalists, APC Senators believed that he was still a member.
The position of APC Senators was at variance with that of PDP who earlier in the day claimed majority in the Senate.
Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio in an interview with correspondents at DSP’s residence told journalists that PDP has assumed majority status in the Senate, adding that more Senators would defect in a matter of days.
We further learnt that Godswill Akpabio, who was the governor of Akwa Ibom State for eight years has began lobby to replace Senator Ahmed Lawan as Senate leader.
He was seen having a closed door meeting with DSP, Ike Ekweremadu when other Senators who were on solidarity visit left. Effort by our correspondent to have details of Akpabio’s discussion with DSP proved abortive on Tuesday, but sources close to DSP confirmed on Wednesday that the making of Akpabio as the next Senate leader was being perfected.
“I can confirm to you that Godswill Akpabio will be the next Senate leader. The issue was discussed with DSP who is the highest office holder on the platform of PDP,” sources said.
However, Ahmed Lawan claimed that the Senate President, whose name was not on the roll call was still a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Suspicion was rife that the Senate President would defect to PDP following his travails believed to be orchestrated by the Presidency when Senate resumes sitting in September. Saraki narrowly escaped being caged by security operatives on Tuesday over planned defections. His Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu was, however, kept under house arrest by operatives on allegations of money laundering.